The Importance of Names in Frankenstein and the Handmaid's Tale

1619 WordsJul 22, 20137 Pages
Names are a very important thing that most people are given shortly after birth. A name is “the word or words that a person, thing or place is known by” (Cambridge Online Dictionary (2011), Retrieved November 6th 2012). Names are given to identify an individual in replace of calling someone “it”, a term used to refer to something inanimate or without a name. A name shows that someone loves us enough to name us; to think about it with care and affection. Names surrounding the author have a great influence also and the main character in Frankenstein shares the penname of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley’s husband. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood uses the influence of feminism to create the names of the majority of the female…show more content…
Victor’s hubris can also link to Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Formerly the most beautiful of all angels in Heaven, he is a tragic figure best described by the now-famous quote "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven" (Paradise Lost, Book One, Page 263). He is introduced to Hell after he leads a failed rebellion to wrestle control of Heaven from God. (Wikipedia (2012), Retrieved November 8th 2012). Anne Mellor said that “Frankenstein’s scientific project is clearly an attempt to gain power” (A Feminist Critique of Science). This can be seen though Victor’s speech about creating the Creature and his toils. We know that Victor is punished because he says “one by one, my friends were snatched away; I was left desolate.” The use of the term “friends” in this quote suggests that Victor does not feel any relation to William, his brother. He does not say “friends and family” which would have described his punishment accurately. The use of “one by one” creates imagery of the domino effect. The repetition of “one” can suggest that each death is linked; which inevitably they are. There was also no choice in the loss of his friends as they were “snatched” away from him. This violent verb represents the creature in a vicious light. The adjective “desolate” suggests that he is completely alone, even though he still has people that care for him. Victor’s best friend, Henry Clerval, whose name is phonetically similar to

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